A simples guide

Accidental damage insurance

Whether you live in a large house, a small flat, or a bungalow, your furniture and possessions can add up to a tidy sum. It’s always best to have home insurance to protect you from the loss of or damage to the things that belong to you to give you peace of mind.

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Contents insurance

Contents insurance largely covers all the things you have in your house that you could pick up and take away if you went to live somewhere else. This includes carpets, curtains, pictures and your furniture as well as all the small things you own like plates to ornaments and electronic items including your computer and your phone. Not forgetting your items such as clothes and jewellery. See how these things can quickly start to add up?  

What is contents insurance with accidental damage cover?

Standard Contents Insurance cover normally protects you if you have your possessions stolen or they are damaged in a fire or a flood. It doesn’t protect you if your toddler gets carried away and wants to crayon all over your cream carpet and sofa; or your son turns two chairs into a goal and breaks your expensive light fittings; or you knock a tin of paint over onto the carpet (grown-ups cause accidental damage too!). That’s where accidental damage insurance for your contents comes in.

Accidental damage contents insurance will pay for a repair or replacement of an item that has been damaged or destroyed by accident at home. If you have accidental damage protection, the insurance company will sort it out.

broken vase

What is the difference between accidental damage contents insurance and accidental damage buildings insurance?

While accidental damage contents insurance covers you for the items in your home, you might need accidental damage buildings cover to protect you from damage to the building itself. For example, drilling through a water pipe or putting your foot through the ceiling in the loft. These are accidents that can happen to the structure of your home.

Imagine you were putting up a picture and you accidently drilled through a water pipe, which caused the water to escape. With accidental damage buildings insurance you’d be covered for having the pipe repaired, whilst your contents insurance would cover you for any water damage to the carpet, curtains or furniture.

paint on carpet

Will I get a new item if it’s destroyed?

If you have a new for old policy (and these are fairly standard these days) then you’ll be given the money to replace the item as new. If a possession has been destroyed then it is likely that your insurance provider will replace it new for old, although this depends on what it is. If it’s the TV, or the sofa then you’re likely to get the money for an equivalent new one (less your excess). But, if you’ve damaged your curtains, or a designer dress, then your claim will probably be limited by a wear and tear clause and your claim payment will be reduced accordingly. 

What’s a wear and tear clause?

This means that the insurers will ask you how old the item is that has been damaged or destroyed and they will work out how much it was worth when it was new and then take some money off for the wear and tear it’s had since it was new. For example, if you bought your made-to-measure bedroom curtains for £500 two years ago, the insurance company will take off a percentage for wear and tear, so you won’t end up with the £500 that they cost.

Do I need accidental damage contents cover if I live in rented accommodation?

In short, yes if you want extra protection. As a tenant you may not own the carpets and the curtains, but you can bet you want to protect your own possessions so you may need contents insurance and could consider having accidental damage protection too if you’re worried about any damage you may cause accidentally. Your landlord will have buildings insurance, which as a tenant you don’t need to worry about.

What’s the best way to get accidental damage insurance?

Accidental damage insurance, whether it’s for contents, buildings, or both, is usually sold as an upgrade in cover to standard home insurance policies. So, whether you’re a tenant or a homeowner, you don’t need to worry about life’s little mishaps you can search and compare home insurance with accidental damage protection through comparethemarket.com and we’ll make sure you get the right level of cover for you.